By Max R. Weller
Read the story in the Daily Camera. It features a nice photo of Vennie (sic) Thompson panhandling:
Vinnie Thompson panhandles on the corner of 30th Street and Valmont Road on Monday. The Boulder City Council has dropped a controversial ordinance that would have placed new limits on panhandling within the city. (Mark Leffingwell / Daily Camera)
Now, see Vennie’s other photo by scrolling down to Page 29 of Boulder PD’s online sex offender registry. Also note how many other registered sex offenders are listed as homeless or using the address of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless — 4869 N. Broadway.
In the past, Mr. Thompson actually listed his address as “Central Park” on Boulder PD’s website. I guess he’s moving around to different campsites now . . .
If only Boulder PD would start to enforce the existing law against Aggressive Panhandling, the problem could be quickly brought under control:
5-3-7 Aggressive Begging Prohibited.
(a) No person shall beg or solicit aggressively for a gift of money or any thing of value on any public street, sidewalk, way, mall, park, building, or other public property, or on any private property open to the public while in close proximity to the individual addressed. “Aggressive begging” means begging or soliciting accompanied by or followed immediately by one or more of the following:
(1) Repeated requests after a refusal by the individual addressed;
(2) Blocking the passage of the individual addressed;
(3) Addressing fighting words to the individual addressed; or
(4) Touching the individual addressed.
(b) If one person acts in concert with another to beg aggressively, such that one person begs or solicits, and another commits one or more of the additional acts constituting aggressive begging, both have committed the crime.
(c) If one person begs or solicits, and a second person, who knew or reasonably should have known of a refusal by the individual addressed, begs or solicits from the same individual within one minute, the second person has committed the crime.
(Ordinance Nos. 5955 (1997); 7259 (2003))
Scumbag #2, convicted rapist James Budd of Carriage House and Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow fame, also has a brief mention in the DC:
James Budd (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)
One wonders how the Daily Camera goes about choosing those it refers to as homeless advocates, as well as those homeless individuals it chooses to photograph for news reports. Vennie Thompson and James Budd are NOT representative of the vast majority of the homeless population here in Boulder, CO — no matter what the do-gooders at Bridge House, BSH, and other organizations want you to believe. These two men are scumbags, period. However, MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE = MORE MONEY for the so-called nonprofits.
Better to give generously directly to homeless folks you can trust to use it wisely.
Another new face showed up at my spot in the shade along the sidewalk in the 4900 block of N. Broadway yesterday afternoon. I was playing the role of humble beggar on the corner of U.S. 36 when he arrived and sat down next to Shouting Joe and his redheaded girlfriend. Weird New Guy took off his shoes and socks and began picking at his bare feet, right where I’d planned to sit and eat my supper. Anyway, I did well enough thanks to always kindhearted passersby to quit after just 1 1/2 hours; I sat on the wall next to the redhead while Joe took a turn at panhandling. I then decided to move away from the foot-picker (who also wanted to try his luck at begging) down to another shady spot close by. Weird New Guy must have said or done something to offend the woman because she started yelling for help from her boyfriend, Joe. I was too far away to hear what was said, but it seemed that Joe told WNG to leave. WNG became very angry, but he left; I hope we’ve seen the last of this particular fool.
I’d like to know what other homeless moron told him to come up to my neighborhood and “fly a sign” where I’ve been cultivating the goodwill of both passersby and neighbors for many years.
I overheard a conversation on the SKIP bus this morning, in which a couple of my acquaintances were talking about this 23-year-old man who apparently pointed a realistic-looking pellet gun at police officers from the window of his apartment. One kept calling him a “kid” but I didn’t butt into their discussion. It seemed to veer off track into the typical blame for the police and other parties, but involved no personal accountability for the young man himself. Sheesh, people! HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BEHAVING IN A RECKLESS MANNER, and he’s lucky to be alive. People need to stop apologizing/enabling for such characters. BTW, in the place of any of the police officers involved, most reasonable people would have done the same thing and fired their weapons. There is no legal or moral requirement to let the “bad guy” take a free shot first, before a law enforcement officer can use deadly force to end any credible threat to his/her safety. Coleman Stewart, the 23-year-old, needs help at this point to deal with serious issues — likely including chronic substance abuse.
That’s all for now . . .